OTT industry aiming for ‘sports broadcasting rights’

Minjun Son

2021. 10.12

Graphic : Designer Eun Sil KIm

                  Dramas, entertainment shows, and movies are not the end. Now it’s ‘sports’. The OTT industry has started to secure exclusive sports broadcasting rights.

TVING expanded the scope of content to include sports while broadcasting live Euro 2020, the European Football Federation (UEFA) soccer championship, and the 2021 French Open, a major tennis tournament. The 2022 Qatar World Cup Asian final qualifier, which will be held from September this year, is also scheduled to be broadcasted.

Coupang Play also caught up with sports. Premier League Tottenham Hotspur matches, Korea men’s soccer team World Cup qualifiers, 2021 Copa America matches, and soccer Olympic team evaluation matches were broadcasted live.

Securing sports broadcasting rights requires huge capital. Still, why is OTT so obsessed with winning sports broadcasting rights?

Let’s pay attention to what Netflix said two years ago. In 2019, Netflix announced that it would not enter the advertising business or sports broadcasting in the future. It was the confidence of Netflix that took the ‘throne’ with the potential of original content without any sports content. Soon, sports broadcasts were seen as Netflix’s ‘windless zone’. As the OTT industry jumped into the field of real-time sports broadcasting, which Netflix does not have influence, it began to secure users.

Sports content serves to attract a variety of viewers. Until now, OTT’s main target has been female users in their 20s and 30s who prefer entertainment or dramas. The reason TVING chose sports was ‘to find content that all people are interested in’.

As Euro 2020 was broadcast, the number of young male users increased. According to the mobile big data platform Mobile Index, the proportion of male viewers in their 20s and 30s during Euro 2020 was 16.44%, up from 14.49% in the previous month. Due to the nature of sports content that is often found, users can even get a lock-in effect.

Now, as the OTT industry, which used to compete with original content or built-up content, begins to win sports broadcasting rights, another competitive landscape has opened.

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